Through ATDM, regions attain the capability to monitor, control, and influence travel, traffic, and facility demand of the entire transportation system and over a traveler's entire trip chain. This notion of dynamically managing across the trip chain is the ultimate vision of ATDM. ATDM builds upon existing capabilities, assets, and programs and enables agencies to leverage existing investments — creating a more efficient and effective system and extending the service life of existing capital investments. All agencies and entities operating transportation systems can advance towards a more active management philosophy.
While active management can be applied to any part of our transportation system (such as implementing dynamic pricing on a facility to manage congestion, or informing travelers of specific or compatible transit operations for their trip), it is most beneficial when the relationships and synergies to other parts of the system are considered. For example, an agency could apply adaptive ramp metering to improve freeway traffic flow. However, if the effect of ramp metering on connecting arterials is not considered or if dynamic actions to manage overall demand are not implemented, some of the system-wide performance gains from the ramp metering system may be compromised.
Active management of transportation and demand can include multiple approaches spanning demand management, traffic management, parking management, and efficient utilization of other transportation modes and assets.
The ATDM program is divided into three tracks:
- Track 1: Research. The purpose of this track is to investigate key challenges, mitigate risks, and target new opportunities. There are four primary enabling research group types identified: 1) Policy/Planning, 2) Analysis/Design, 3) Technology, and 4) Operations. Information on completed and on-going ATDM research can be found at http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/atdm/research/index.htm
- Track 2: Tools Development and Guidance. The purpose of this track is to assemble, synthesize, package and deliver analysis tools, guides, best practices, primers, and technical information to support ATDM planning, design, implementation, and operations. Information can be found at http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/atdm/resources/publications.htm
- Track 3: Outreach and Communication. The purpose of this track is to develop and deliver training, guidance, technical assistance, and an ATDM information clearinghouse through a variety of formats (websites, on-site workshops, remote peer-to-peer activities, etc.) Information can be found at http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/atdm/knowledge/index.htm